Buck's Blog

The Stream-of-Consciousness Journal of a Wargamer
  • .: Welcome to my blog :.

    I'm John R. "Buck" Surdu. I have two Web pages that contain relatively static information about my professional life (including papers I've written) and my hobby life (including information about rules I've written and my wargaming projects). This blog is where I plan to post personal tidbits, like vacation pictures, wargaming projects, etc. Enjoy!
  • I Didn’t Accomplish Much Hobby Related this Week

    Posted By on July 3, 2020

    Here are pictures of the few figures I managed to get painted. Much of the week was spent assembling, priming, and basing some Victrix Vikings.

    Five more figures from the Pulp Figures “Dangerous Dames” Kickstarter.
    Four more ducks from the Star Hat Miniatures Kickstarter.

    Most of the beaches are open in Florida except for particularly hard-hit counties. Tom is allowed to travel up to 100 miles from Ft. Rucker, so we are going to meet him for a little beach time. It will be the first time we’ve all been together since Christmas.

    Stuff I Did This Weekend

    Posted By on June 28, 2020

    Five figures from Pulp Figures’ Dangerous Dames Kickstarter.

    This weekend I ran a social-distancing Wars of Ozz game to celebrate the launch of our Kickstarter. That chewed up most of Saturday between setup, executing the game, and then cleaning up. Saturday afternoon I worked off some items the honey-do list. I did have time to get some painting done, however.

    Undead ducks from Star Hat Miniatures.
    Two duck wizards from Star Hat Miniatures.

    Some months ago, I bought some Flintstone happy meal toys in flea market form Chris Palmer. My original intent was to use them to make a miniature golf course for my town of Granville I use in my pulp games. I saw a post on the Internet of someone who had repainted these buildings to replace the ice cream colors to stone colors. Since the Winkies live in caves in the Wars of Ozz rules, I decided to repaint them to be a village in Wars of Ozz games.

    Two of the five buildings. I didn’t quite cover up the bowling ball and bowling pin on the building on the left. I might still do more to find those later.
    Two more buildings. I really like the one on the right.
    I plan to make some kind of Winkie totem to put something in the obvious empty spot.

    Don’t Miss the Earlybird Deals on the Wars of Ozz Kickstarter

    Posted By on June 26, 2020

    The Wars of Ozz Kickstarter Goes Live on Saturday!

    Posted By on June 24, 2020

    Turtles, Rhino, and Unicorn from Star Hat Miniatures

    Posted By on June 24, 2020

    I actually finished these on Monday, but I have been too busy to post anything this week about the hobby. Here are some figures that I painted that were part of the Star Hat Miniatures duck Kickstarter.

    Two turtles warriors.
    Two more turtles. These will make nice enemies for the ducks — but the ducks will win. Quack!
    The left side view of the rhinoceros. I sort of wish he was on roller skates.
    The right side view.
    The queen of the unicorns.
    Another view.

    I am working on a few more odds and ends, like some Bad Squiddo WWII children and some Pulp Figures “Dangerous Dames.”

    Enemies for the Drantakh

    Posted By on June 21, 2020

    A few weeks ago Badger Games sent me some figures that I don’t think have been released yet. They referred to them as “heavies.” I think these are meant to be opponents for the Drantakh troops. They sent to packs of snipers. I really like the figures. This weekend I knocked out the eight figures they sent me, and I am pretty happy with the results.

    Sniper teams

    In the process of painting them, I mixed up the two four-figure packs, so sorry these may not correspond to how they will be released. They look a little like the Gorn in Star Trek.

    A closer view of two snipers.

    Until there is are more figures in this range, I intend to use them as Drantakh auxiliaries in my science fiction Combat Patrol(TM) games.

    The figures have great relief that lends itself to contrast paints or dry brushing. I used both techniques on these figures.

    I like the spotter with the scope.
    One last shot of the snipers.
    For scale, here is a Gorn-like sniper with two Drantakh infantry.

    I am sure these have a better name than “Gorn-like” infantry, but I don’t know what it is. Check out Badger’s Web site in general and these figures in particular. Service from Badger has always been first rate.

    Completed the Last of the Bad Squiddo Women of WWII Figures

    Posted By on June 20, 2020

    More Women’s Land Army “Land Girls”

    I have completed the remainder of the figures I purchased in the Women of WWII Kickstarter. These included more “Land Girls,” “Lumber Jills,” and air crew.

    The Sarrisca Precision tractor with the driver (new).
    I really like the rat catcher!
    Mmmmm. Bacon!
    A party of “Lumber Jills” working
    Some aircrew figures
    I finished these figures a couple of days ago, but finished the spotting device today.

    The Germans are in for a fight the next time they attack Little Basely by the Sea in one of my Combat Patrol(TM) Sea Lion games.

    WWII Women from Bad Squiddo

    Posted By on June 18, 2020

    I bought into the Bad Squiddo Women of WWII Kickstarter. The figures arrived a few weeks ago, and I immediately filed, based, and primed them. Last weekend I started with the broad dry brushing. Over the week, I finished them up, and tonight I added some foliage to the bases. I really like these figures, and they will make nice additions to my Sealion games.

    A unit of armed women ready to defend the town of Little Basely by the Sea.
    Sending up a weather balloon.
    Military dispatch riders.
    Handing over the orders.
    Operating a searchlight so the ack ack can shoot down the Hun.
    Performing maintenance on machine-guns for aircraft.
    Enjoying a short respite.

    I also painted five figures from the Pulp Figures Dangerous Dames Kickstarter. This set was the oriental women.

    “I’m not bad. I’m just drawn that way.” This was a small toy from Disney World that is in the right scale for gaming.

    Now, I will work on some additional Women’s Land Army “Land Girls” the remainder of the week and weekend. Stay tuned…

    Feudal Patrol(TM) Play Test and Other Stuff

    Posted By on June 15, 2020

    The weekend started with a play test of Dave Wood’s scenario that will be part of his Roman supplement for Feudal Patrol(TM). The scenario involved groups of Romans attempting to escape after their defeat in the Tutebourg Forest. Other groups had previously escaped, but those in this scenario were straggles. The Germans were defending some fortifications made of logs and foliage.

    A picture from an Osprey book of the German defenses.

    Most of the players were in Maryland, and none of them were in the same room. Zeb, Chris, Dave, and Greg were Romans and auxiliaries. Duncan and I were the Germans.

    A long shot of the table as set up in my gaming room. You can see that previous groups of Romans had left behind some ladders that the Roman straggles would try to use.

    As with previous virtual meetings, we facilitated this game using Zoom. I typically provided two camera views. One is from my laptop, and the other is from my phone. This time, I placed the phone on a tripod on a table to get a good overhead view.

    The overhead view camera from Chris’ laptop via Zoom. Some of the player were having trouble seeing over the high hedges, so I replaced them with less accurate stone walls to facilitate play.

    At the end of turn two, I told Duncan I thought he and I were going to be overwhelmed. A few turns later, after a spirited defense of the gate and the inability of the Romans to get over the hedges in force, the Germans were declared the victors. It was a hard-won victory, and I think everyone enjoyed the game.

    After the game, my wife decided that I wanted to take her and my daughter to have dinner at Disney Springs. We had a good sea food meal, but between the drizzle and the requirement to wear a mask everywhere, even outdoors, it was a less than normally enjoyable experience.

    Sunday after church I had a chance to do a little more painting and finish up some figures I had started earlier in the week.

    Decapod from Antediluvian Miniatures and female adventurer from Star Hat Miniatures.
    Crows from Star Hat Miniatures, the avowed enemies of my duck forces.
    An obnoxious but lovable alien.
    The feared Were Rooster of Romney Marsh. (Star Hat)
    The fungus among us: feared mushroom men (Star Hat).

    I got a start on a bunch of WWII women from Bad Squiddo. Most are in khaki uniforms, so I am assembly line painting them. I plan to finish them little-by-little this week and next weekend.

    Completed two small projects last night

    Posted By on June 10, 2020

    At Cold Wars 2020 Old Glory was handing out a pack of figures that included three Marines and two animals. This vignette is based on a true story about a patrol that was warned of a Japanese ambush. I rushed to the dealer hall to make sure I could get a set. I painted them this week. I couldn’t remember my US Marine “recipe,” so they turned out a little more tan than green, but uniforms fade like crazy in the hot sun.
    Sally 4th television and movie characters. These are detectives. My favorite is Miss Marple from the Margaret Rutherford 1970s movies.
    A Star Hat Miniatures duck. I painted this at the same time as the Marines and used the same paint scheme. Most of the Star Hat figures are fantasy, but in the recent Kickstarter there was this one “modern” duck. I think I’ll put him with my other science fiction ducks.